Sides & Sauces

Tzatziki (Yoghurt and Cucumber Dip)

March 5, 2018
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It doesn’t get more Greek than a traditional Tzatziki dip. Cool, creamy and very simple to make, Tzatziki is great on a mezze platter or as a sauce over barbequed meat.

 Tzatziki (Yoghurt and Cucumber Dip) Tzatziki (Yoghurt and Cucumber Dip)

When most people think of Tzatziki, fresh cucumbers and thick Greek yoghurt are the first things that come to mind. But a great Tzatziki dip is also about adding lots of garlic (your taste buds will thank you, even if your friends don’t).

How you prepare the cucumbers will also make a difference. If you can buy seedless cucumbers, that’s great. If not, you will need to deseed them which is easy enough to do. A melon baller is great for scooping out the seeds. Cucumbers hold a lot of liquid, so to avoid having a watery Tzatziki, grate the deseeded cucumber (as shown) then squeeze out any excess liquid. This will give you a creamy Tzatziki and avoid pools of cucumber juice accumulating on the surface of the dip.

The use of dill or mint in Tzatizki is a point of contention. Some say that adding one or both is not adhering to the traditional recipe, others say the opposite. I grew up eating Tzatziki without dill or mint stirred through. If l do add it, as l have in this recipe, it’s just for decorative purposes.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Lebanese cucumber (roughly 18 cm / 7 inches long) (Note 1)
  • 500 g (16 oz) Greek style yoghurt (Note 2)
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated or minced)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Optional

  • Dill fronds

Instructions

  1. Squeeze out any excess water from the grated cucumber. Place in a medium bowl.
  2. Pour the yoghurt into the same bowl. Add the grated garlic and olive oil. Mix.
  3. Add salt to taste. I usually add 2 tsp.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and decorate with dill fronds and extra drops of olive oil.

Notes

  1. To avoid a watery Tzatziki, make sure you deseed the cucumber. After grating, squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands.
  2. Not all Greek style yoghurt is the same. Go for a brand with a nice thick consistency.

To achieve that classic Tzatziki taste, you have to pay attention to the finer details, but l think you’ll agree that it’s worth it!!

Danielle

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